San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Up against the wall: 10 San Miguel de Allende murals with a message to mask up

A pandemic of new murals all over San Miguel de Allende, many with iconic images from pop culture and high art, carry a simple message: Put on a mask.

If Frida, Vincent van Gogh, Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” Klimt’s stylish “Lady in Gold,” and da Vinci’s mysterious “Mona Lisa” and her Botero-esque alter-ego can put on masks — and look fabulous — so can we.

That’s the hope, anyway, of the city’s Directorate for Culture and Tradition which has sponsored the creation of the 10 murals.

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San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Welcome to Wally’s World

Wallace George Hawkins

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I’d like you to meet Wally, full name Wallace George Hawkins. He was born on Saturday at 6:54 p.m. in Kaiser Hospital, San Diego, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Mother, Larisa, and father, Ryan, are as over the moon — as we are!

Wally and parents were home by Sunday evening and Wally got to meet his big brother, Augie.

Ryan is my second-oldest son, born between Brendan and Christopher. Wally joins three grandsons — Brody (Brendan and Cami), Tallac (Chris and Katie), and of course big brother, Augie (pictured above).

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As one of eight brothers and one sister, to me the production of sons and grandsons seems a foregone conclusion although some of my brothers and their wives, somehow, have brought daughters into this world.

There is nothing like a new-born baby to remind you of how unique, amazing and beautiful is every child. This has to be my all-time favorite miracle available on this planet.

Rose Alcantara and I are so filled with joy.

Rose right away suggested sending flowers and naturally found just the right bouquet on Amazon. I think they are arriving today (Tuesday). Say what you will, this is an amazing world.

I bought a second gift for the family — a non-contact, infrared, instant-read thermometer — bundled with 50 disposable face masks. Just seems like a gift for these days, especially with the inevitable number of visitors they will likely get.

Now comes the tricky part: how to schedule a visit to meet Wally in person in this wild and crazy Covid world. I’m looking forward to crossing at Tijuana and isolating for two weeks in San Diego before Wally and I get to hang out.

It makes sense, too, once “certified” COVID-free, to drive to Northern California to visit with Brody and Tallac and their parents while already in the States.

Not the family reunion we were all talking about at the beginning of the year but this is love and joy and family in the new reality.

Whatever it takes. I’m ok with it.

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Murals with a message say it loud: I mask-up and I’m proud

Frida is cool with wearing a mask. Just ask her. New Mural on 28 de Abril, just up the street from Orizaba.

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Masks as art in the window of Abrazos, the fabric store on Zacateros.

A cynic might say there are more murals, statues and pictures wearing masks in San Miguel de Allende than actual people.

I wouldn’t know.

Lately, the only people I hang out with are murals, statues, and pictures. And they all seem to be wearing masks.

Which is why I prefer their company to that of people who will not wear masks. They even look smarter than people without masks.

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

A good Sunday morning walk to the Presa, unspoiled by the reality awaiting back in town

Horses and cattle graze where there was once water at the Presa, outside San Miguel de Allende. Chances are, the current rainy season will do its job and refill the reservoir.

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We went for a walk on Sunday.

Or maybe it was a hike. When does a walk stop being a walk and become a hike? Is it the distance? The degree of difficulty? The moment when you suddenly realize one call to Uber could end all this?

Anyhow, we went for a walk on Sunday.

Eight miles, round-trip.

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

No rhyme, no reason: Randomly curated photos from the Pandemic-era

Yeah, this is how I feel every day when I open up my computer and begin reading the news. I want to scream, lash out, run for cover, then hide in the bushes for the rest of the day.

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I know “curated” does not mean “stuff left over.”

A curator searches through his or her museum’s basements, files, archives, vaults, hallways, and subterranean sanctorums in search of pieces that support an important theme or idea.

The hope is that, as a whole, a curated show will tell a story or bolster an idea. A curated show is more than a theme — say for example, pictures with something red in them.

There is no doubt that during self-isolation, we have changed. As our lives slowed down, our perception has improved. I dare say that we are all seeing, feeling, hearing, loving, fearing in ways our previously busy, noisy, distracting, and demanding lives would not permit.

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: April 22, I’m back and I’ve got this headful of stuff I need to tell you …

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Miss me? These days you can’t say “I am sick” without sending tremors through the universe. But now I can say, “I was sick, for a couple of days.” Whatever the symptoms, they did not add up to COVID 19.

I was just sick. And now I’m better and life goes on and gratitude pours in to fill the void.

As many of you know, when you are sick, you basically do nothing. So, since I sense you don’t want unnecessary detail on nose-blowing and sneezing, let’s say I did nothing of note (“Honk!” … sorry) on Monday and Tuesday.

But here’s today’s ANNOTATED LOG!: Continue reading

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Camino: Porto to Santiago, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Entering Phase 2 of the coronavirus with the help of the Camino, history, humor, and Garrison Keillor & Randy Rainbow

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Decontamination crews are spraying down the streets of San Miguel de Allende today. The visuals alone ought to drive the doubters indoors. (Photograph by John Bohnel)

So, Mexico entered Phase 2 on Tuesday. While the president still hugs and kisses the babies and young girls, his Health secretary has called for restaurants and casinos to be closed, for public gatherings to disperse — you know, the same stuff we have been doing in San Miguel for a couple of weeks now.

Only, a lot less.

Phase 2 is clinically called the “community transmission phase.”

Phase 2 feels like Mom calling the kids inside to safety — after it starts raining. The kids have been playing outside, conscious of the dark clouds building. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Something is different: A morning walk in San Miguel in the Age of Pandemia

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Early evening in San Miguel de Allende. The clouds rise up in the east like fluffy canvases, awaiting the inspiration of the dying sun to recast them in gold and amber hues.

We walk this same path over and over, Moppit and I.

The pattern is unchanging.

Open the front door at 7 a.m.

Glance up into the sky and count the hot air balloons.

Or remark on their absence.

 

Today was a day to note their absence. Continue reading

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